Billionaire Taiwo Afolabi’s son, Damilola Afolabi, aka LAX is famous for the song, Caro, a delivery he did alongside Wizkid. He was in Nigeria days back and spoke about how he started music and where he is headed.
You are from a very rich background, why music?
I love music, it is my passion, that is why I am doing it. So, I am doing music for the passion and to make my own money and stand on my own. Forget about my father being rich, there is nothing like doing what you love and making money out of it.
At what point did you know music is what you were going to do?
A friend called and asked me to come to the studio with him that his car broke down and he wanted me to take him to the studio. When we got there, the producer asked me to do something on the beat. This was in 2007, I jokingly did a freestyle. After the session, the producer called me and was like ‘guy, you have a distinct voice and I think you should learn this craft. So, I decided to go to the studio every day and that was how it all started.
At the point you were going to take music professionally, why did you pitch you tent with Wizkid and not another record label or start your own record label?
I met Wizkid when I came to Nigeria. I had a show where I met his stylist, who said she would style me. We spoke for a while and she took some of my songs and the rest they say is history.
Can you remember your first day with Wizkid?
This was in 2013, in his house, it took like two months before we could sign a contract. We went to London together, did a couple of tracks together, that was when we recorded Caro as well.
What’s the contract you have with Wizkid? Is it a management or a record label deal? How many years is the deal? Is there a sign off fee that we didn’t hear about?
It’s a record label deal and it is just for two albums, two years.
What project are you working on now?
I am working on my singles. I have close to 30, 40 singles recorded and I am working on my album as well.
When is your debut album going to be out?
Next year, but we can still push it.
How would you describe your own type of music?
I do everything, I can go on any beat, I can go on reggae, pop, afrobeat, fuji so, I am just trying to create my own kind of music.
Which other Nigerian artiste are you looking up to?
I look up to Wande Coal. I listened to him a lot when I was younger and I looked up to a lot of Nigerian artistes because everyone is trying to survive.
Back in London, did you do music professionally?
It was more of semi professional because I used to go to the Bez Studios in London, I used to work with a producer that worked with Beyonce and Jay Z. He was my producer for two years, he used to mix and master my songs.
Why didn’t you stay up there, why did you relocate to Nigeria?
I thought I could express myself better here in Nigeria. I love my country and I want to be part of her success.
If you had not done music, what else would you have done?
I would have been a businessman.
What was your dad’s reaction when you told him about your doing music?
He wasn’t actually happy with music, he wanted me to head one of his companies but after a while when he heard my songs and his friends were always calling him up telling him they saw me on TV’ so, he started supporting me.
Which Nigerian artiste would you like to feature in your music?
What I am doing is my kind of music, I am not an artiste that does one kind of sound so, it depends on the kind of sound I am trying to put out there and the kind of artiste that wants to feature. Every Nigerian artiste coming up now is good so, I don’t have any preference for any artiste in particular.
What is your relationship status now?
I am not in any relationship now because I want to focus on my career, I’m trying to make money.
What happened to your last relationship?
Nothing, we are cool. I am cool with everybody.
How would you describe your dream woman?
To be honest, I have related with a lot of girls in terms of friendship. Am just looking for somebody who will understand me and love me for who I am.
Which female artiste do you have a crush on?
I don’t think I have a crush on anybody, but I’m feeling Cynthia Morgan, I like her sound and her type of music and I think she’s bold.
Who wrote Caro, you or Wizkid?
We did the studio session together, he did his part and I wrote mine.
Have you ever thought of dropping music to do something else?
Every great person thinks of dropping something to do something else, even when they love something because things don’t always work out the way you want. I have thought about stopping music for something else a lot of times but the love for music keeps me in it.
What were the instances that made you think of doing something else?
It still boils down to going to the studio and not getting inspiration, but the people around me and my manager encouraged me to keep moving.
What are the challenges?
In Nigeria, we don’t make much money as we are supposed to. American artistes are making so much money. An average song writer in America makes more money than his counterpart in Nigeria.
Do you see music as a lifelong career for you?
No, not really. I am doing music because of my passion for it, but I am planning to put a lot of artistes, as big as I want to be, then I can start doing other things.
Who are the international acts that you will love to do collaboration with?
My team is presently talking to Kendrick Lamar to work with him. I love a lot of international artistes and we are planning to work with them.